Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    November 6, 2010 12:30pm-1:00pm PST

1:30 pm
holmes, the owner of pet camp, and ms. espanola jackson. the task force was very diligent. they volunteered their time. the net monthly with us in the evenings at the southeast treatment plant for two or three hours. we went on technical tours. they worked on behalf of the community in their neighborhood to try to further the implementation of the project. the objective of the task force was to provide a fair and open review process to continue to develop the process. it was to solicit local community thinking, sentiments,
1:31 pm
and concerns. they brought the facilities from 17 down to two. they identified the key issues for evaluation. those were cost, schedule, visual, architectural, and community benefits for the future. the group culminated their work on the digester task force report. you each have one of those in your pocket. it is a heavy document. it includes all of the agendas. the agendas and topics were set by the committee members. some of the meetings were battering for staff. when something was not clear or understood, the task force was very clear and good communicators to us. a lot of time was spent responding to the questions trying to sort out the details. all of the topics are included
1:32 pm
here. in summary of all the findings is included. anything in here was agreed upon with consensus. there is a lot of information in here. all of the meeting minutes, agendas, a lot of dialogue that went back and forth when we were getting final comments on the document. this will be with the project as we get it started. this will be what we hand our design team to be able to get them clear on what criteria in the neighborhood is expecting. the 17 different locations were scattered throughout the city. a discussion was held on land use, geography, location, challenges, logistics, size. we talked about all of those things for over a year-and-a- half. we ended up with two preferred
1:33 pm
locations. the one on the left in the orange is adjacent to two central shops. this is the railroad tracks. they're both bordered by the railroad tracks. down south is the location where the digesters are currently. we also looked at an off site location on 294. it is in the port of san francisco control. that is trust property. it has trust requirements on it. we had a total of 15.7 acres in the orange. we had about 15 to 20 acres in the blue. we took a look at what it would mean if we were building at south side, staying in the same location. it would be a staggered build where you would have to demolish
1:34 pm
and complete construction. you still have the digesters reasonably close to the neighborhood. we looked at the second option where we would be using the central shop site for the digesters. that would have been much further away and adjacent to the train tracks. slightly more on the dollar slide and longer on the completion side. it will require some relocation of the central shop existing use. the final option was more and longer on completion because of the legislative work required to move the trust of the port property so it could be used for a non maritime function. the completion date of the time of the issuance of the report was 2024 south side two additional years at the shop and additional years for.
1:35 pm
94. to look at the three parcels of land, we ended up with two combinations with the digesters at central shop. we had another alternative with the digesters that the south side, se -- at the south side, se. the preferred option would be to have the digesters located along the train tracks at a distance from the residence. even if we were able to have been located here and going slightly north from there, but to be able to keep them as far away from residents as possible. right now, the residents are right across the street. . 94 is isolated from residential. it is adjacent to the old pg&e facility. it is one solid block of land. the challenge is that you have
1:36 pm
solace and sludge back-and- forth through the community. the site has a high level of contamination. we do have the uncertainty of being able to obtain the site. when we looked at the visual and architectural, this was very important to the community. what are we going to see when the project is done? what could it look like? i have a few shots of renderings and examples that were supported by the task force. one was the architectural style that could look more like a condominium or townhouse. this could be office space and usable space for the waste water enterprise as well as for the community. it is the digesters screened
1:37 pm
by trees and buildings. another had a top across the digesters and other buildings that could fit in a more industrial or parklike or campus-like structure. one thing i want to highlight that ties into the prior hearings, the community benefits portion, are the suggestions that came up and we started to talk about community benefits in the project. because so much work is going to be done in the southeast community, the was a lot of time and thought and discussion on opportunities for the southeast community. i want to summarize these suggestions. 50% of the hiring from the zip codes. if the san francisco public utilities commission on behalf of the improvement program has a new project labor agreement, that commitment would have to include local hiring built into
1:38 pm
it. having necessary resources to support the community so that there is job readiness, internships, and opportunities, barrier removal, and other services that help the puc meet the local hiring requirements. continuation of the existing apprentice ship program and job readiness program. that is included in all the designs. they did the mitigation so that air quality and environmental impacts would not be an issue from the new bio solids facility. increasing environmental education to the students in the area and considerations of residents in94124 for mitigation because they've been so close to southeast, perhaps they could
1:39 pm
have solar panels. on june 22, 90% of the task force came to power commission. they were commended for all of their work and given a hand. ed harrington gave them a resolution signed by himself and our members. each of the members got up and gave testimony of about five to seven minutes. it was really neat. the task force will certainly be involved. i see many members of the task force every meeting i go to on the waste water side. certainly on the plants, and expect them to be highly involved. they did support moving the project forward. this is a critical project. we do not want to end up in an emergency situation where we cannot meet treatment requirements. as we step forward through the sources improvement program, our commission has endorsed levels of service better very specific.
1:40 pm
we're beginning to draft and prepare for program management and proposals for the facility in the channel tunnel. we need to get the consultants in place and working on designs so that we can initiate an environmental review. with the review, we have to have plans and specifications to be able to move forward. i have one more really important slide. we're also investigating new technologies to enhance energy production and reduce carbon footprint. we're sending a team to look at similar plants built in the u.k. we have a project engineer with us today as well as someone who is in charge of our asset management. some of the process is out there could reduce the number of
1:41 pm
digesters needed from six which we would need if we stayed with the traditional treatment. the pre-treatment process could reduce it to four. that would be a wonderful thing. i want to say that your staff who support you have been out to the facility. they are standing there on top of one of the roofs. they were very brave to do that. they spent a good couple of hours with us learning about the plant, taking a tour of it. all the focus and questions were really about the southeast digester improvement. i think they all got a good idea of how very close the neighbors are. we have everyone look over the wall and the can see people's homes right there. that was really my summary of the project. i know you want to hear from the task force members. i think there are some other
1:42 pm
people on the docket as well. supervisor maxwell: we do. as you look at treatment plants around the country in the world, they do more than just that. people are excited about them. they educate the public. how're we going to make ours different so that it is a place where people want to come and it is an asset to the community? >> we want to have a plant that is state of the art and is not something that people are afraid of. we wanted to be welcoming and set up to have tours safely. many of the facilities require climbing ladders for dangerous vantage points. even giving a tour is complex. having a facility that welcome jim people in -- that welcomes young people in to work with us, we want to do the right thing and expand our apprenticeship program. i know tommy has some thoughts
1:43 pm
on that. supervisor maxwell: how will you facilitate the process customer is that written up? -- how we have facilitate the process? is that enough? >> we are including community benefits in the entire program. supervisor maxwell: by a understand, but what you described is not necessarily in the community benefit. it is a benefit to the entire city if it is a beautiful place that people can tour. a community benefit to me is when you have some of the other things we're going to talk about today. that is a citywide benefit. as we start doing this and paying for it, if more people know about it, they will be willing to support it. that is why i am asking about how it is going to be and what you are thinking about. is this something you are thinking?
1:44 pm
is it going to be on paper so that people will start planning around doing that and designing for it? >> the design criteria is going to be on paper. we're looking at a highly advanced treatment process that has only been used in the u.k. it reduces the footprint. everything is a sealed vessel. it captures the gas to create energy. that is our real dream. that in combination with more energy efficient treatment processes + solar could enable us to produce over 40% of the energy for the plant. supervisor maxwell: i agree with that. nowadays people are looking at infrastructure not been below the ground but on top of the ground so people can see what is going on. are people going to be able to see it? will they understand? i took a tour of oceanside. for the first time, i understood digesters because i could see it and smell it.
1:45 pm
it was interesting. that is what i am asking. are people going to do those kinds of things? in other parts of the world, they have brought it to another level. >> 1 process we're moving towards is where we would be engaging with members of the digester task force and other community members. we do intend to have it be above ground and more transparent and have the community participate in the aesthetics and what would ultimately look like. it would make it more of an open facility so it is clear. let the daylight in and not hide it in a big concrete box like it is now. to get to a modern, a state of the art thing that we're proud of and that the neighborhood can be proud of as well. supervisor maxwell: for those of you who do not have a seat, there is seeking in the chambers. we have to have everyone seated
1:46 pm
in this room. thank you. supervisor mar>> we're in a fivr process. i think everyone is in agreement that we want this new place to be a destination. it is a new way of conducting business. it is not something we want to hide. it is something that is part of the infrastructure of the city. we want jurortours and welcome l those things at various levels. last time, i did inform you that 80% of the adults in san francisco do not know what happens when the flush the toilet or take a shower. for too long, they do not know. they need to know. it is something they paid for. it is a responsibility that we
1:47 pm
have. these facilities will be designed with the public in mind. supervisor maxwell: people may not know, but even in orange county, they have toilet to tap. they are drinking that recycled water. i think it is important that we understand what goes on with the water issue. anyone else? do you guys have any more that you would like to add? why don't we hear from folks on the task force? would you like to come forward? all right. sam, would you like to start off with the task force and talk a little bit about it since you are so vested? >> good afternoon. i am sam. and work for the public utilities commission. it is an honor to be here in the
1:48 pm
great city of san francisco. i want to say before we start, "go, giants!" one thing i want to discuss is that the effort we put in place to put the task force together. sometimes we tend to take those things for granted. the board members know i do not take those things lightly. you do know my history. this board was very diverse. in some cases, a lot of people would think it is a very dangerous board to put together. they are all very strong-willed people about what they do. that is what makes this board so unique. i would like to say that i personally think that the san francisco public utilities
1:49 pm
commission deserves credit for being willing to be doubled to put these types of individuals together. with that, and like to ask the task force to come up and say a few words. i just wanted to let you know and understand the process. the process is amongst people who are active in the community. they actually had a concern about the digesters in the master plan and the whole history in that. even though i work for the city and county of san francisco, you knew that i used to be way on the other side dealing with them. you know that personally. the effort they put into this is incredible. i think some other agencies should take a look at how they
1:50 pm
went about getting the task force members. i think that is really crucial in the process. we heard a lot of different opinions. we also heard the fact that they had to learn how to work with one another to come to a consensus. i think sometimes as we do these things, the hardest thing when you have your own agenda is to drop that and deal with what you understand that the task force members are working with themselves. i think they accomplished that goal. they did not all believe the same thing, but they did work together. i think that is the unique thing. for me, it has been an honor to be part of this particular task force. supervisor maxwell: ms. jackson?
1:51 pm
other members, if you like to say something, please line up to keep the process going. >> thank you. ms. jackson from hunters point. in the report just given to you, some of you may not have been around in 1996 when one of those areas collapsed. all of that went into people's businesses and the streets. that is an old plant. we want to make sure that everything will be new and not repaired. we were concerned about the jobs. on some of the issues being discussed, we did not all agree. i was the one talking about jobs. i was the one talking about mitigation. some people did not want to hear it. i have been in bayview since 1948. i thought i had the right to
1:52 pm
request certain things of those of us who had lived in the community at all of those years without sewage plant. i was there when they did the expansion. i would like for people to understand that sewage plant affected the entire city and county of san francisco. we were told in 1972 that we would only be receiving 80% of the city's sewage. i got very upset when i learned that we were getting sewage from other counties and it never been discussed. what i want you all to do is not only this, pass it on. it happened in 1996 when it collapsed and fell in. all the things went down the street into folks businesses. i never will forget one of the owners of a business called me
1:53 pm
up and tell me to come down. i said i was not coming down there. i said i was not the fixer, but i want to make sure that everything is done so we can get to work on that next year in january. you are not voting on this today? supervisor maxwell: no votes today. >> if i had known that, i would have stayed at home. [laughter] supervisor maxwell: i am glad you did not. >> i am the program manager for a young community developers. i would like to say that it has been a pleasure to serve on the panel of the waste water digester task force. although we did not always agree, it is good to know we love each other and agree to disagree. i want to speak towards the community benefits package and
1:54 pm
the young community developers. we look forward to being part of the training and referral process of these opportunities coming down the pipeline. it is not just for the community. it is for all san francisco residents who can take advantage of all these opportunities. we look forward to the scholarships and internships that can come out of this. we hope the community benefits package can represent that and help identify requirements for the entry level to prepare people to get into some of the long term employment instead of just the construction phase, to prepare them for long term. one thing i found out the was very educational was smelling the air. having the opportunity to tour, listen to the different ideas,
1:55 pm
and how it is as a whole, was very important for me. the dues and equipment for the construction workers, if there were a package to prepare the community for the union to help them get back into the union, help prepare them for their own backyard instead of bringing people from outside. thank you so much. supervisor maxwell: next speaker, please keep it going. >> good afternoon. thank you for holding this hearing. i want to talk about a couple of the issues addressed at the digester task force and ask you to step back and look at how this relates to the entire city rather than just the parochial
1:56 pm
interests of the commission. in terms of the report and the work we did, i 2nd what everyone else said. he was a pleasure to work with everyone on this issue. i was the one person who did not sign off on the report. my reason for not doing that was simple. the way the numbers were presented is something you need to keep in mind. the way the numbers were presented in terms of future cost of projects was an escalated terms. we were looking at a project starting at one point in comparing it to a project that starts four years later. the nature of money these days is inflation. costs run up. my background as a planner and economist is that when you compare projects that start at different points in time, you need to look at real costs. what we're looking at between the pier 94 alternative and the status quo alternative is a
1:57 pm
difference of about 20%. where does that 20% play in? it is cleaning up a landfill right next to the bay that has been there since the turn of the last century with sanitary waste and other sorts of things we used to pile in their way back when. that is the principal cost. the other cost is replacing a few pipelines and adding some between the facilities. when we look at the 20%, we're getting toxic cleanup as opposed to the status quo alternative. there is a broader issue that speaks to the rest of the plant and system. the way this report and process was set up, we were strictly focused on the digesters. that is clearly a necessary thing. what has recently come out and has become apparent is that the liquids and handling side is
1:58 pm
coming near the end of its useful life. we will have to start thinking about replacing that. that is about a 30-year-old plant. to do this planning and decide where we will spend billions of dollars to replace the infrastructure for the next 50 or 100 years, we should be looking at it from an overall perspective in terms of the entire plan. one thing that is happening is that both the puc and the port of san francisco are sometimes at odds in terms of their own institutional interests. they find it hard to agree. i think it is important for the decision makers, the legislative body, the board of supervisors, and the mayor to force them to dialogue and work together. when there's all this talk about avoiding.
1:59 pm
94 because people have notions about future development, the port could not develop it during the biggest real-estate bubble in the history of mankind we could build just about anything. we've reached the point economically where a lot of things will not be penciled out. we need to look at how we can protect the assets at pier 94, the industrial assets that will be under water in a generation if we do not clean up the existing toxic landfill and reorient the land use of a strategic point towards something much more positive and beneficial for the community. this is outside the bounds of this particular program, but i think it is really important for you as decision makers to look at this to see where we can centralize the system